In the days before the Civil War in the old French Quarter of New Orleans there lived the GENS DE COULEUR, the Free People of Colour, a fierce and proud people, descended from slaves and their French and Spanish owners, neither Black nor White, but caught between the two - free and yet not free.
Among them is Michael, the mesmeric copper-skinned youth, mercurial, attractive, wild: an artist in the making, he dreams of Paris, and the lure of a brand new art, Daguerreotype.
His gentle sister Marie longs for love and marriage in a world ready to sell her charms to the highest bidder. And there is Anita Bella, the beautiful young courtesan; and Dolly Rose, the splendid madame; and Christophe, the brilliant young teacher who has returned from Paris with dangerous ideas.
The author of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE has written a novel as exotic, exciting, colourful and sensuous as the French Quarter itself.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 640 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 04/12/1997
- Category: Horror & ghost stories
- ISBN: 9780099269472
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by pzmiller
Engaging story of free people of color in New Orleans before the Civil War.
Review by Carpe_Librum
I was looking at all my Anne Rice books and I noticed one of them didn't look like it had been read. My best guess as to why I hadn't read 'The Feast of All Saints' when I bought it is most likely because of the very small and heavy font.Anyway, years after purchasing it, I have finished reading this book which was quite different to her vampire series. The novel has a familiar setting in New Orleans, however there are no vampires or supernatural themes in the story. Set in the French Quarter in the 1840s the novel is about the gens de couleur libre the free people of colour, neither black nor white, and living in a city with slave markets and black servants.This was a real eye opener into the times and challenges faced by the gens de couleur, and the struggles they faced. The main character is Marcel, although the reader is treated to an in depth analysis of several 'sub characters' and much family drama is covered in the book.I was surprised by some of the themes and it really made me think. How could women of colour look down upon women who married other men of colour for love? Instead it was expected that young women of colour would strive to be the mistress (second wife) of a white plantation owner who would only visit the city every few months. Essentially this meant knowingly being the wife/mother of a second and secret family. Unbelievable.There is a lot of family drama, questions of lineage, family traditions, society expectations and when it's okay to break the rules.To be honest I struggled during the first 100 pages (there are 636 pgs in total), however the story really picked up after that and I was hooked. It was such a treat to read an earlier work of Anne Rice (one of my favourite authors), as I'm hanging out for her new book.